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Pakistan hold edge after NZ dismissed for 153

November 17, 2018

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ABU DHABI: Pakistan spinner Haris Sohail celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman B.J. Watling during the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.—AFP
ABU DHABI: Pakistan spinner Haris Sohail celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman B.J. Watling during the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.—AFP

ABU DHABI: Leg-spinner Yasir Shah led a double-barrelled attack of spin and pace to leave Pakistan sitting comfortably on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand on Friday.

Yasir led the varied attack with 3-54 as New Zealand, who won the toss and batted on a grass-less Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch, were bowled out for a below-par 153 in 66.3 overs at the stroke of tea.

The day saw 12 wickets fall as Pakistan closed at 59-2, having lost both their openers Imam-ul-Haq (six) and Mohammad Hafeez (20) before Haris Sohail (22 not out) and Azhar Ali (10 not out) stopped the rot.

Pakistan need 94 more to take a lead and enforce a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Imam was first to go as he edged Colin de Grandhomme’s delivery to the slip while Hafeez miscued a pull straight to short mid-wicket — both caught by Kane Williamson.

New Zealand skipper Williamson, declared fit after missing last Sunday’s third one-day international due to a groin injury, top-scored with 63 before falling softly to medium pacer Hasan Ali, who finished with 2-38.

Hasan removed Williamson with a slower delivery as the New Zealand skipper went for a hook and gloved the ball for wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed’s fourth catch of the innings.

Williamson’s 112-ball knock had five boundaries and he added 72 for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls who made 28 with four boundaries.

PAKISTAN batsman Azhar Ali avoids a short ball from New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Friday.—AFP
PAKISTAN batsman Azhar Ali avoids a short ball from New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Friday.—AFP

In the same over Hasan trapped De Grandhomme for a first-ball duck before Sohail dismissed Ish Sodhi (four) and BJ Watling (four) — both were trapped leg-before.

Mohammad Abbas, who has figures of 2-13, had removed Nicholls, caught behind by Sarfraz soon after lunch.

Pakistan dominated the first session as New Zealand were 81-3 at lunch, with leg-spinner Yasir Shah taking the first of his two wickets in his opening overs.

Yasir had derailed New Zealand’s progress in the first session with the wickets of opener Tom Latham (13) and Ross Taylor (two) in his first spell.

New Zealand openers Jeet Raval and Latham survived some anxious moments before pace spearhead Mohammad Abbas had Raval edging to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed after scoring seven.

Yasir, who had to endure a tough last week due to the death of his mother, had Latham caught at mid-wicket off a loose drive with the fourth ball of his first over.

In his fourth over Yasir had Taylor caught behind with a sharp leg-break, leaving New Zealand at 39-3.

New Zealand handed Test debut to 30-year-old left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, leaving out experienced pacer Tim Southee.

Scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings): J. Raval c Sarfraz b Abbas 7 T. Latham c Hafeez b Yasir 13 K. Williamson c Sarfraz b Hasan 63 R. Taylor c Sarfraz b Yasir 2 H. Nicholls c Sarfraz b Abbas 28 B.J. Watling lbw b Haris 10 C. de Grandhomme lbw b Hasan 0 I. Sodhi lbw b Haris 4 N. Wagner c Asad b Bilal 12 Ajaz Patel lbw b Yasir 6 T. Boult not out 4 EXTRAS (LB-4) 4 TOTAL (all out, 66.3 overs) 153 FALL OF WKTS: 1-20, 2-35, 3-39, 4-111, 5-123, 6-123, 7-128, 8-133, 9-149 BOWLING: Abbas 12-7-13-2; Hasan 16-6-38-2; Bilal 13-1-33-1; Yasir 16.3-2-54-2; Sohail 8-2-11-2; Hafeez 1-1-0-0

PAKISTAN (1st Innings): Imam-ul-Haq c Williamson b de Grandhomme 6 Mohammad Hafeez c Williamson b Boult 20 Azhar Ali not out 10 Haris Sohail not out 22 EXTRAS (LB-1) 1 TOTAL (for two wkts, 23 overs) 59 STILL TO BAT: Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Bilal Asif, Yasi Shah, Mohammad Abbas FALL OF WKTS: 1-27, 2-27 BOWLING (to-date): Boult 6-2-20-1; de Grandhomme 8-4-17-1; Patel 6-2-13-0; Wagner 3-0-8-0 UMPIRES: Bruce Oxenford (Australia) and Ian Gould (England) TV UMPIRE: Paul Reiffel (Australia) MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (India)

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018

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